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Rough Start to 2018: 70.3 Texas & Vietnam

If you don't want to take the time to read the whole long post below, this Tweet from back in mid May sums things up in less than 280 characters.......

Now that I have had some time to reflect on the beginning of 2018, thought now was a good time to put some of those thoughts on to the blog. 2018 started off really well, I was back home with family for the first few weeks of the year and things were going well. Was just getting the training load back up after the holiday season and starting to get into a good routine back in California. Took a short trip to Oklahoma with my Dad to see old friends and watch one of the biggest dirt track car races in the country, the Chili Bowl. Can't beat getting to spend a few days away with my Dad, rare occasions to cherish for sure given I have lived out of California the last 14 years.

After some quality time back home in California with the family, I headed down to San Diego for a 7 week block of training, the first 3 weeks without Hila and the kids, as they headed off to Colorado to spend time with her family. We also put on our first KIS Coaching Camp while I was down there, which was a huge success and some great times! The training block went really well in San Diego, and then things started to get a bit hectic.

We drove to Colorado, spent a week there and then drove down to Texas. Things were still going pretty good up to that point and I was feeling ready to race and was excited for 70.3 Texas. Well Texas had other plans for me, and in the early morning hours of race morning I woke up extremely sick, throwing up and on the toilet. So after a few attempts of trying to convince myself I could possibly make the race start, I finally succumbed to being too weak and ended in bed till 2pm and spending the next few days recovering from the food poisoning.

From Texas 70.3 I headed to North Carolina to spend some time in the Wind Tunnel with Brian Stover, and was extremely happy with the outcome of that. You can check out the time I spent there via the Slowtwitch Article. From North Carolina it was back to Texas and then shortly after I made the drive back west to California as we had a family wedding to attend. From there to Puerto Rico for a week and then back to the UK. One would think that was enough traveling for 4 months, but nope, a last minute trip came up and after 5 days at home we turned around and back to the US we went, to Florida, for a whole 4 days.

I then stuck to the plan because I am stubborn and hard headed, and continued to circumnavigate the globe by still going to Vietnam to race Vietnam 70.3. Needless to say by the time I showed up to Vietnam I was a bit tired, and the unfortunate multiple delays and a 24hr trip turning into a 37hr trip. I was really hopeful that two solid nights of sleep and uninterrupted sleep for diaper changes or crying kids would have me ready to go. Unfortunately, that was not the case and by 10k on the bike my body still had not come around and things were not going well. I kept pushing on hoping things would get better but they never did.

Having to make the decision to pull out of a race is extremely hard and usually scrutinized by the public as well. At the end of the day there are a few questions I ask myself before making such a decision (I have only ever pulled out of one other race).

- What will continuing on benefit me?

- Will I lose out on prize money if I pull out?

- Do I really need to just "finish" another 70.3?

At Vietnam 70.3, the hardest part of making the decision to DNF was that the race organizers put on an amazing event and take such great care of the pro athletes. I felt like I let them down by pulling out of the race, not only as a pro athlete, but also as an athlete that they have looked after and taken great care of the past two seasons, and hopefully many more to come. At the end of the day, right now, racing is my job. And thinking of the future and those above questions, it did not make sense to continue. I didn't have any other races in the near future, so trotting along in 100+ degree temps to a ~2hr half marathon wasn't going to gain me anything, other than possibly causing great exhaustion and even a longer recovery time. I was no where in contention of prize money, so that was an easy one to not have to worry about. And when it comes to finishing a race, that's not what I am out there to do, I am out there to compete and race, just "finishing" doesn't do much for me these days, although still a great accomplishment, it's not something that I "must do".

So after the rough go at the first two races of the year, it was back to the UK, to refocus and start getting back into a routine. I will be back in the UK for ~10 weeks before traveling again, and hopefully will be able to do a local race or two while in the UK just to see how things are going and if I am ready to get back on a start line again.

Lastly, Vietnam 70.3 is an amazing race. If you are looking for a destination race in Asia, this should definitely be at the top of your list! Take a look at the highlight video below, nothing more needs to be said!

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